On centering whiteness: The real problem with Adele's Grammy dedication to Beyoncé
Two weeks ago, I read a headline stating that Denzel Washington beating out Casey Affleck to win the SAG’s Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role was the biggest surprise of the night.
Floored by the insinuation that Washington — who boasts a career spanning more than three decades and having already won two Oscars — was a surprising choice for the coveted award, I tried to imagine the same headline running if it had been Viggo Mortensen or Ryan Gosling over the embattled opponent (according to reports, Affleck allegedly has a history of sexual harassment and abuse dotting his own career).
I couldn’t. It only served as a reminder of what I already knew: white institutions are never expected to acknowledge Black excellence, and that moments meant to spotlight Black genius are too often usurped to praise whiteness.
While watching the Grammys last night, I received the same reminder. After losing out on previous Album of the Year nominations for I Am Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé, I was certain that even with its racist history of ignoring Black artists, the Grammys couldn’t deny Beyoncé her just due for Lemonade. But after delivering a breathtaking performance, which paid homage to the Yoruba deity Oshun, Beyoncé lost out to Adele’s 25 for Album of the Year. Related Articles:Adele Breaks her Grammy For Album Of The Year In HalfSolange Rubs On Big Sis Beyoncé’s Baby Bump Backstage At The Grammy’s In A Tender MomentFrom Lauryn Hill To Chance The Rapper- It’s Been 18 Years Since A Black Hip-Hop Artist Won A “Best New Artist” Grammy This article originally appeared in Essence by LaSha